from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Frozen precipitation in the form of white or translucent hexagonal ice crystals that fall in soft, white flakes.
  • noun A falling of snow; a snowstorm.
  • noun Something resembling snow, as.
  • noun The white specks on a television screen resulting from weak reception.
  • noun Slang Cocaine.
  • noun Slang Heroin.
  • intransitive verb To fall as or in snow.
  • intransitive verb To cover, shut off, or close off with snow.
  • intransitive verb Slang To overwhelm with insincere talk, especially with flattery.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To fall as snow: used chiefly impersonally: as, it snows; it snowed yesterday.
  • To scatter or cause to fall like snow.
  • To surround, cover, or imprison with snow: with in, up, under, or over: often used figuratively. See snow-bound.
  • noun The aqueous vapor of the atmosphere precipitated in a crystalline form, and falling to the earth in flakes, each flake consisting of a distinct crystal, or more commonly of combinations of separate crystals.
  • noun A snowfall; a snow-storm.
  • noun A winter; hence, in enumeration, a year: as, five snows.
  • noun Something that resembles snow, as white blossoms.
  • noun In heraldry, white; argent.
  • noun A vessel equipped with two masts, resembling the mainmast and foremast of a ship, and a third small mast just abaft and close to the mainmast, carrying a trysail.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To fall in or as snow; -- chiefly used impersonally
  • transitive verb To scatter like snow; to cover with, or as with, snow.
  • noun Watery particles congealed into white or transparent crystals or flakes in the air, and falling to the earth, exhibiting a great variety of very beautiful and perfect forms.
  • noun Fig.: Something white like snow, as the white color (argent) in heraldry; something which falls in, or as in, flakes.
  • noun See under Red.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Snowbird, 1.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the snow pheasant.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a small black leaping poduran (Achorutes nivicola) often found in winter on the snow in vast numbers.
  • noun a flood from melted snow.
  • noun (Bot.) the fringe tree.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several species of neuropterous insects of the genus Boreus. The male has rudimentary wings; the female is wingless. These insects sometimes appear creeping and leaping on the snow in great numbers.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any wingless dipterous insect of the genus Chionea found running on snow in winter.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several species of arctic geese of the genus Chen. The common snow goose (Chen hyperborea), common in the Western United States in winter, is white, with the tips of the wings black and legs and bill red. Called also white brant, wavey, and Texas goose. The blue, or blue-winged, snow goose (Chen cœrulescens) is varied with grayish brown and bluish gray, with the wing quills black and the head and upper part of the neck white. Called also white head, white-headed goose, and bald brant.
  • noun (Zool.) the ounce.
  • noun lowest limit of perpetual snow. In the Alps this is at an altitude of 9,000 feet, in the Andes, at the equator, 16,000 feet.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a European vole (Arvicola nivalis) which inhabits the Alps and other high mountains.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several species of large, handsome gallinaceous birds of the genus Tetraogallus, native of the lofty mountains of Asia. The Himalayn snow pheasant (T. Himalayensis) in the best-known species. Called also snow cock, and snow chukor.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See under Partridge.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a pigeon (Columba leuconota) native of the Himalaya mountains. Its back, neck, and rump are white, the top of the head and the ear coverts are black.
  • noun (Bot.) a fleshy parasitic herb (Sarcodes sanguinea) growing in the coniferous forests of California. It is all of a bright red color, and is fabled to grow from the snow, through which it sometimes shoots up.
  • noun (Naut.) A square-rigged vessel, differing from a brig only in that she has a trysail mast close abaft the mainmast, on which a large trysail is hoisted.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable The frozen, crystalline state of water that falls as precipitation.
  • noun uncountable Any similar frozen form of a gas or liquid.
  • noun uncountable A shade of the color white.
  • noun uncountable The area of frequency on a television which has no programmes broadcast in analogue sets, the image is created by the Electrical noise.
  • noun uncountable, slang Cocaine.
  • noun countable A snowfall; a blanket of frozen, crystalline water.
  • verb impersonal To have snow fall from the sky.
  • verb colloquial To hoodwink someone, especially by presenting confusing information.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English snāw; see sneigwh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English snow, snaw, from Old English snāw ("snow"), from Proto-Germanic *snaiwaz (“snow”), from Proto-Indo-European *snóygʷʰos (“snow”). Cognate with Scots snaw ("snow"), West Frisian snie ("snow"), Dutch sneeuw ("snow"), German Schnee ("snow"), Danish sne ("snow"), Norwegian snø ("snow"), Swedish snö ("snow"), Icelandic snjór ("snow"), Latin nix ("snow"), Russian снег (sneg), dialectal Albanian nehë ("place where the snow melts"). Also, from the same Indo-European root *sneygʷʰ- (“to snow”) comes English snew.


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  • “This day the spring had decided to be not poetical but simply cheerful. It had spread flocks of small scatterbrained clouds in the sky; it swept down the last specks of snow from every roof; it made new little brooks run everywhere and was playing at April the best it could...�? — Tove Jansson, 'Moominland Midwinter' (translated by Thomas Warburton).

    December 4, 2007

  • Lovely quote. :-)

    December 4, 2007

  • In hospitals, means to completely gork or zonk out a patient by means of sedative or other medications.

    February 5, 2008

  • Scots have 421 words for snow. I think they have more.

    September 23, 2015

  • Another article with some useful links. It seems that 421 is the official tally, but you have to be careful with those canny Scots.

    September 23, 2015